To compare the effectiveness of two different methods of education on foot health, behaviours and attitudes in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Community-based patients were consecutively allocated to written education (Group A) or an interactive educator-led session (Group B). A quantitative Foot Score (maximum 90 points score based on severity of treatable pathology), the Nottingham Assessment of Functional Foot Care (NAFFC) survey score (maximum 30 points reflecting frequency of foot care behaviours) and a 6-question survey of attitudes to foot complications were administered at baseline and 3 months.
154 patients (mean ± SD age 68 ± 10 years, 59.7% males, median [interquartile range] diabetes duration 11.5 [5.6-18.9] years) were recruited. There was a greater change (Δ) in Foot Score from baseline to 3 months in Group A (8.3 ± 3.6, Δ - 1.8 (95% CI: -2.4 to -1.2) vs Group B (6.8 ± 2.6, Δ - 0.1 (-0.7 to 0.4); P <0.001), but no change in NAFFC survey score in either group (P = 0.13). In the attitudes survey, Group B felt they better understood how to prevent foot complications than Group A after education (P = 0.031).
Written information was more effective at improving foot health while interactive education improved confidence in undertaking preventive measures, suggesting that the most effective foot care education should include both components.